Peter Lock will bypass a softer option with Hiflyer to give the talented 4-year-old his chance over a more suitable distance at Tauranga today.
The Te Aroha trainer also accepted at Sunday's Waikato meeting, but he has decided the 1600m trip of the the Strand Hcp was in the better interests of the horse.
"The mile will help him and the rail is in the true position at Tauranga whereas it's out 10m at Te Rapa.
"It's also a much better stake at Tauranga and the horse deserves a go at it. It's certainly no foregone conclusion and the horse [Highlad] that's come back from Australia is a quality 3-year-old so it won't be easy.
"In saying that, I'm very happy with my horse and, safely through this, I'll probably freshen him up and look to a $50,000 race on Derby Day at Ellerslie with him and then the Easter." Hiflyer has won twice from nine starts with his latest success coming earlier this month.
"He'd had four runs before that without any luck at all. Then he went down on his nose at the start at Ruakaka and in a six-horse field he managed to get blocked in before he got out and won," Lock said.
"He's come through that without a problem and I'm looking forward to racing for a bit better money at Tauranga."
- NZ Racing Desk